Discover Oaxaca from A to Z

The coast of Oaxaca, in the south of Mexico, is an authentic Mexican destination where so much beauty is not staged for tourists, it is real life.


It is the generous nature and its Oaxaca heritage. It is the culture of its people and coast of beaches of golden and soft sand, bathed by a crystalline sea that moves calmly and sometimes furious between green and blue.

Oaxaca is all that and more, and it is not full of tourists like other destinations in Mexico. Oaxaca is much more economical and interesting (the prices of tourist services are much more competitive than in other parts of the country). A place where it is always summer and where the whales arrive, from cold Alaska, to mate in these warm waters between December and March.

How to get there

There are several options to get to the Oaxacan coast. The most convenient is by plane from Mexico City, either to Puerto Escondido or Huatulco, where there are airports. The flight lasts only 35 minutes to any of these two neighboring towns, separated by 190 kilometers (about two hours).

Another alternative is to arrive in Oaxaca, the capital of the state of the same name, located about seven hours away by land from Mexico City and 30 minutes by plane. And from there, start the trip to the coast.

Once you arrive, it is a good option to rent a vehicle to visit all the beaches and other attractions along the way, although you can also use public transport.

Things to do in the Oaxaca City

Before leaving for the coast, it is worth spending at least two days (hopefully three or more) in the capital city, beautiful and glorious, declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco in 1987. Loaded with history, colorful houses with colonial facades, of churches, popular markets, art, and culture.

Visit two craft markets where chiles and chocolates are made, traditional food, handmade mezcals, and the colorful huipiles and traditional dresses that Oaxacan women proudly wear on the streets and that they sell here to tourists.

Walk through the historic center, visiting several churches and squares and then the El Cortijo mezcal shop. Because mezcal does not make you drunk. It makes you magical, they say here. And the next day goes to the archaeological site of Monte Albán early and walk in the middle of those ancient pyramids that were home to the legendary and warrior Zapotec people.

Also, visit the alebrijes workshop of the master David Hernández, those crafts are carved in wood and painted with squeaky colors and with different geometrical strokes. Dragons, cats, turkeys, bulls, roosters and other creatures.

Oaxaca is the cradle of mezcal, an ancestral drink extracted from the maguey plant, similar to tequila but much more traditional and, above all, more intimate. The powerful mezcal of Oaxaca is sipped, kissed, and when the drink enters the body it is felt even in the soul. And hopefully, the rancheras and corridos sound of the great singer Lila Downs, who is also from Oaxaca.

Puerto Escondido

The Zicatela beach is the owner of some wild and high waves, true glass walls where surfers from all over the world surf. This is a town of surfers. And the plan is to see them challenging one of the most famous waves in the world. Contemplate and nothing else. It would be imprudent to get into the sea. For that, there are other beaches with calm waters like Puerto Angelito, Manzanillo and Carrizalillo. The beaches have palapas (wooden huts) where they serve beer, fish and fried calamari.

There are several plans in Puerto Escondido, a fishing village that began to become famous in the 70s, when the first travelers arrived; especially hippies and adventurers.

You have to go through the bays and beaches in a boat and sea turtles and dolphins in the sea. Take a class or a surf course. Visit a mezcalería and a coffee crop, which is also very good. Walk the streets of La Rinconada, full of cafes and restaurants where they prepare the best of local food and international cuisine.

Recommended is the Almoraduz (Mexican) suggested in 2017 by the New York Times as one of the best restaurants in the world. The coffee should be at El Cafecito. And you have to go to the Espadín, located on the terrace of the restaurant at the Villas Carrizalillo hotel, on top of a cliff and owner of one of the best views of the bays of Puerto Escondido and this corner of the Pacific.

Another plan is to go free newborn turtles in Bacocho Bay. Volunteers from the Vivmar Foundation collect the eggs so that they are not eaten by the birds or the inhabitants, and they are buried. And when they break the shell, the travelers unload them in the sand and they move towards the sea.

It is also worth going to the lagoon of Manialtepec to contemplate the bioluminescent plankton: those microorganisms that paint the water at night in lights. But we must corroborate that the night is dark and the moon is not full; otherwise, nothing will be seen. Likewise, going by day will be a great experience: water, mangroves, birds. It is a paradise of biodiversity.

Mazunte

Mazunte is located 69 kilometers away from Puerto Escondido. Another fishing village, simple, without much pretension or more infrastructure. And that is its charm: a simple and quiet life.

Mazunte is named in honor of a blue crab that abounded in the area and was known by grandparents. And it was known to be a sanctuary for sea turtles, although at one time they exploited them: their eggs, their flesh. In fact, they count there, in the 70s there was a slaughterhouse and everything. But the species was threatened and, then, they decided to respect it, conserve it and turn it into attractive ecotourism. And today he is worshiped at the Centro Mexicano de la Tortuga.

Mazunte
Oaxaca, Mexico

Mazunte boasts a beautiful beach one kilometer long, where a relaxed and very hippie atmosphere reigns. There are bars, hostels for backpackers and souvenir shops where the natural cosmetics made by the women of the town are striking

There are also boutique hotels and spas built into the cliff such as Zoa and Casa de Miel, with a privileged view of the Pacific. If you can not afford to sleep there, at least stop by and have a beer. The view is really beautiful. The sunset in Mazunte must be seen in Punta Cometa (or Cerro Sagrado), the highest mountain in the region.

Zipolite

Just 10 minutes from Mazunte, on the route to Huatulco, you will arrive at a place that you have to arrive without prejudice and, preferably, without clothes: Zipolite. It is a nudist beach certified as such by the Mexican Government and recognized worldwide. The clothing-free bodies enjoy the beach, although with caution because the sea is open and the waves break with force.

Most hotels and establishments operate under the philosophy of nudism and are friendly with same-sex couples. Every year, in February, the Nudist Festival is held there, bringing together travelers from all over the world in a relaxed musical and cultural environment. On this beach, several of the scenes from the film 'Y Tu mamá también', directed by Alfonso Cuarón and starring the Mexican Gael García and Diego Luna, and the Spanish Maribel Verdú, were recorded.

Huatulco

Huatulco is the jewel in the crown of the Coast of Oaxaca. It is an ideal world. Perfect. A city of wide avenues and without traffic, always looking at the sea, in the middle of a Natural National Park.

Its parks, piers, and trails are for exercise. They are its mountains, rivers, and waterfalls. But such beauty is not a coincidence. Huatulco is an Integrally Planned Center (CIP), which as its name suggests, was designed by the National Fund for Tourism Promotion (Fonatura) as a tourist destination on a simple fishing village. As well as Cancun, Los Cabos or Ixtapa - Zihuatanejo.

Santa Cruz Bay, Huatulco, Mexico

It is the generous nature and its Oaxaca heritage. It is the culture of its people and coast of beaches of golden and soft sand, bathed by a crystalline sea that moves calmly and sometimes furious between green and blue.

Oaxaca is all that and more, and it is not full of tourists like other destinations in Mexico. Oaxaca is much more economical and interesting (the prices of tourist services are much more competitive than in other parts of the country). A place where it is always summer and where the whales arrive, from cold Alaska, to mate in these warm waters between December and March.

La Entrega, one of the most famous beaches

It is so named because there occurred treason. The Mexican national hero Vicente Guerrero was invited by the Italian sailor Francisco Piccaluga to give him some 'attention'. But it was a trap. There he gave it to the Army, who was looking for him, and days later he was shot.

The tour through the bays allows you to get off the boat and enjoy the beaches, all clean, soft sand and golden, solitary and guarded by a rugged landscape of green mountains and sharp cliffs. You can also snorkel or snorkel to know the other wonders that the coast of Oaxaca hides underwater.

To highlight the virtue of the coast of Oaxaca: it is much cheaper than other Mexican destinations. To give you an example: a catamaran trip, in Cancun, costs you $ 110. Here, the same excursion, with the same services and the same catamaran, costs 30 dollars. And going to the center of town where there are bars, restaurants and craft markets, where everything is fun or tasty and cheap.

More information on https://www.oaxaca.travel

Recommended stories